A lot of talk is taking place about how uncaring and self-centered young people are in today’s culture. Wherever you turn, there’s talk of selfish Millennials and Gen Z’ers thinking only of themselves. There is concern about young people’s willingness to do almost anything for attention and fame. While it is true that online media has changed the landscape of attention and notoriety, and there is certainly more than a handful of examples of misguided attempts at fame, it is important to note that not all of the stories in the media featuring young people are inappropriate or cruel.
Young people can be found at the heart of many organizations and movements whose aim is to make the world a better place. Take, for example, Ryan Hreljac, who established Ryan’s Well Foundation to provide clean water to communities in Africa and Katie Stagliano, who donates produce from her vegetable gardens through Katie’s Krops to feed people in need.
If you want your children to be caring, take the time to lead by example. One of the simplest things you can do with your children to teach kindness is to foster a giving spirit. Giving financially is great if you have the means; there are numerous organizations that depend on people’s monetary generosity to help those in need. However, giving does not have to be monetary. You can ask your children to donate old toys when you donate clothing you no longer need to a shelter. Your family can also give time. Volunteer for a community clean-up day or clean an elderly person’s house.